I met my next guest over on Blame It On The Muse and knew she’d make an awesome guest on Chicklets – and you’ll see I wasn’t wrong! Carla Swafford inherited her love of books from her dad and his father. Growing up, she read every book with a horse on the cover until the age of twelve when she read her first romance. Tired of waiting for her favorite authors to publish more books, she decided to write one. She joined Romance Writers of America and was the finalist in several writing contests. She SOLD her romantic suspense, Circle of Desire, to HarperCollins’ Avon Impulse imprint and you can win a copy if you comment!
Carla lives in Alabama and works in a male-dominated occupation at the same company with her husband.
Let’s hear it, Carla!
Thank you, Abigail, for inviting me to the Chicklets In The Kitchen blog. When I told my kids I had been invited to a foodie blog, they laughed. Now before you kick me out of here, let me explain. I’m a horrible cook. Sure, there are a few dishes I can make that my kids love (what southern woman doesn’t know how to make milk gravy?), but those are far and few between. I just had rather read or write than cook. If I could move next door to my favorite Chinese restaurant, I would be having it every day of the week. Yes. I’m one of those who LOVE eating out even if it is a hamburger and fries.
You probably can guess by all of this that I have a weight problem. Eating out isn’t always conducive to maintaining a girlish figure. Oh, I tried to hold back from eating all the wrong foods without success for years.
Like most people who finally had a big event happen in their life, I took a good look at myself and decided I needed to get my act in gear or I would be dead in five years. Yep. I was huge.
In July, I visited my doctor and joined a program called SmartFit. My goal is to be a decent size by July of 2012. One year to regain my health. Six months in and I’ve lost fifty pounds with fifty more to go. I’m on track.
I’ve learned how even a little fat can go a long way. Maybe most of you already knew that. While I had thought as I ate each candy bar, I’ll get on the treadmill that night and work it off. Problem is the candy bar has 250 calories and the fastest I could walk on the treadmill is a little above a slow crawl. So it would’ve taken me two hours to walk it off. You see where I’m coming from. As I was learning what I could eat and retraining my mindset, they gave me a few good recipes I found are perfect for my need to snack. This one is a slightly revised old-time favorite that’s great with chopped vegetables (instead of potato chips) or you can dip Crispy Pepperoni Chips.
1pkg fat free cream cheese spread, softened
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained, chopped
½ cup chopped red peppers
Mix spread, sour cream and dressing mix in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients; cover. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.
Crispy Pepperoni Chips
6 oz turkey pepperoni, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lay the pepperoni slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and soak up the excess grease by pressing paper towels against the chips. Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 2-4 minutes, until they’re very crispy. They stay fresh for 1-2 days if stored in an airtight container.
Now you have something to snack on. Be sure that you don’t eat the whole recipe in one sitting. It is so tempting.
If you’re wondering what my big event was, I had sold my romantic suspense, The Circle of Desire, to HarperCollins’s Avon Impulse imprint. Having a dream come true helped me make a lifestyle change and saved my life.
Tell me of a fat free snack you like to eat — besides pickles as I feel like I’m about to turn into one — and I’ll place you in a drawing for a copy of my book.